Mayo arts bursary winners announced

Mayo County Council Arts Service has announced the recipients of awards and bursaries for 2017 for amateur drama, music recording assistance, and Tyrone Guthrie regional bursaries.

Visual artist Saoirse Wall and composer Donal Sarsfield, are the recipients of the Tyrone Guthrie Regional Bursary 2017. Every year Mayo County Council offers two bursary awards to artists born or living in Mayo, to take a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Monaghan. The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is a residential workplace for artists, dedicated to supporting and facilitating creativity and is the largest residency of its type for artists in the country. Each bursary covers the costs for a two-week period, plus the use of a studio if relevant. There is a variety of artist work spaces available, including studios, a music room for composers and musicians, a multi-media room, and a large rehearsal and performance space. The centre is universally well-regarded for successfully providing a creative space outside everyday life, which gives artists time and space to focus on ideas and work.

Donal Sarsfield from Ballyheane is interested in stimulating a perceptual link between the listener, the work, and the world in which we live. As a composer Donal primarily records, transforms, and organises sounds. His work has been performed all over the world at events such as the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, South Bank London, Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music 2012, World Music Days ISCM Belgium, and Sonorities Belfast among others.

Saoirse Wall is an artist from Westport. She received a BA in fine art media in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 2014. Her work was recently on display in Custom House Gallery, Westport, and the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Recent exhibitions include Fools’ Bells Fall in the Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn, The Netherlands, and Knowledge And Other Myths in Platform Arts, Belfast. Her work is held is the National Gallery of Ireland collection. Wall’s practice encompasses video, performance, sound, and sculpture. Her work engages with the body, the gaze, online communities; it is informed by gut feelings, sensory impressions, and bodily responses.

The Kerbs, a four piece alternative rock band from Foxford in Mayo are the recipients of the Music Recording Assistance Award 2017. The response to the call for applications has shown once again the breadth and the quality of music making in the county. The field included a cross section of genres, and the high calibre of applicants made the selection difficult work for the assessment panel. The Music Recording Assistance Award was established to support the recording of original music by musicians living in the county and the recipients receive up to €800 towards the costs of an original music recording.

The band formed when lead singer Mark McHale (vocalist and guitarist ) returned from Australia with a suitcase full of songs. Childhood friends and musicians Alex Stupar (lead guitar ), Noel Gallagher (bass guitar ), and Kevin Holmes (drums ) added their own influences and recorded four tracks for their debut EP I am Zeus. In November, the band released their debut single "Changes" accompanied by a stop-motion music video which was written, photographed, and edited entirely by the four members of the band. The music video, which tells the imperfect love story between two cups of tea, already has nearly 30,000 views online. Since its release ‘Changes’ has been played by Irish radio stations gaining national attention, even reaching audiences in the UK and Europe. The Kerbs are preparing to take the 2018 festival season by storm and root themselves in the Irish music scene.

Clann Machua, the amateur drama group from Kilitmagh, have been awarded the Mayo County Council Amateur Drama Award for 2017. Clann Machua was formed in 2010 and has become very active in the local community. The group has a youth theatre which also runs annual productions. The current director is Sean Langan. Recent productions include Juno and Paycock and Hunger March.


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